2006 saw the setting up of the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Dordogne and the unique Périgord Développement Service.
Specifically designed to help the British start and run businesses in the Dordogne, the Service is a successful marriage between the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce that has been operating from Paris for over 100 years and Périgord Développement who work specifically in and for the Dordogne region, providing support for the British. It was created from an initiative between the Conseil Général de la Dordogne, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat and the Conseil Régional d’Aquitaine.
With over 450 British Artisans in the region, including 175 that registered in 2006, the Service is designed to enable individuals, entrepreneurs and companies get started and then to become totally integrated though a series of events and seminars throughout the year. These are designed to meet known needs and where it is recognised that there are obstacles for businesses to overcome. Many events are social, designed to encourage networking and the lunch held after the press conference was good example and was very well attended by a good cross-section of members including FrenchEntée –Dordogne!
Part-time courses are held which cover absolutely all aspects of living and working in France. Subjects range from language, seen as the biggest stumbling block, to taxation, social contributions, French administration, legal and banking matters, housing, transportation to education and health.
Each one of the registered artisans and businesses will be contacted and interviewed by the service. This will provide data on client needs to ensure that the Service becomes pro-active rather than reactive and maintains its valuable contribution as it develops.
All parts of the Service are fluent in English, including the printed material, and provides total support to enable full integration into the French system, advising on matters such as registration, health and professional insurance and training and can facilitate introductions to, for example, accountants and lawyers who speak English and understand both French and English systems.
With the increasing numbers of younger individuals and small companies wanting to move to France for a different life and new challenges, the Service recognises the needs and concerns associated with a new start-up and ensures that the introduction is positive and painless. With the British now firmly established in the Dordogne, accounting for 42% of jobs created and contributing nearly 30% to the local economy the French recognise the value of this injection of new life and energy into the community and are pulling out all the stops to lay out the welcome mat.
The Dordogne region is the first in France to try and meet the needs of British integration and it is a pioneering initiative that has the eyes and ears of the rest of France, so the success of the first year is extremely encouraging for all involved. Many of the Members at the luncheon were able to confirm their appreciation of the service and support they had received, citing it as being instrumental to their success.
The Consul observed that, “There are over 300,000 British in France with a great many choosing the Dordogne as their new home. There are very significant opportunities on offer to anyone starting a business supplying the British community, and possibly the wider French market, this service provides the support essential for a successful start”.
When you register your new business at the Chamber of commerce you should be given information on the Service however to ensure that you do or, to get further information,
Chargée de Mission / Project Manager – Périgord Développement
Responsable Opérationnelle / Operations Manager – Franco-British CCI
23, rue Président Wilson
24016 Périgueux Cedex
Tél: (33) 5 53 35 80 73
Fax:(33) 5 53 35 80 43